Automating video creation with Azure Functions, Azure Media Services and Microsoft Flow

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So this is my first video post about a Microsoft 365 roadmap update.

If you follow me on LinkedIn, you might have noticed I’ve been doing a bunch of different updates lately for the Microsoft 365 roadmap. I do this because it’s fun to see all the things that are changing and being added to the platform.

The way that those updates work is that I have an Azure function checking the roadmap API every few hours and comparing it against a version I have in a Cosmos DB database. When it finds a new or a changed feature on the roadmap, it creates a picture using an API from Imgix and starts a Microsoft Flow approval process asking for my notes. Once approved, the image and those notes are pushed on to Buffer which posts the update on my social media.

I wanted to see if I could do the same thing with video so I’ve extended that solution a bit.

Now, when I’m prompted to add notes to a roadmap update I’m also prompted to add a video to a newly generated OneDrive folder. When I add the video of me discussing the update and approve the Microsoft Flow request, another Azure Function takes the video from OneDrive and sends that over to Azure Media Services. It’s then encoded to a smaller size and  automatically transcribed. It then sends me the generated subtitles, which I can correct on my phone and then approve. Once corrected, the subtitles and the encoded video are sent over to a service called Cloudinary, which has a cool video editing API.

I’ve made a bunch of different transitions and animated logos depending on which service the update is tagged with, so that each video is a little bit customised. Finally, another function makes the video via the Cloudinary API.

The cool thing about this solution is that it’s written entirely in Powershell. I’m using Azure Functions here because they make it easy to build these automated solutions using a language that I’m familiar with. So the end result is I can create a nicely formatted social media video with hardcoded subtitles from my phone. See an example of this above.

The other thing that I can do with my phone, is sign in using the Microsoft Authenticator app with passwordless sign in. Which is what this update’s about.

It’s actually really easy to setup, you can follow the instructions on this post and help your users reach a more secure, password-less future.

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